Friday, January 23, 2015

Peculiar Name; Great Taste

One of Tianjin’s most beloved street foods, 耳朵眼炸糕 (ĕr duŏ yăn zhá gāo) was invented around the turn of the 20th century by a man named Liu Wanchun. The hutong where he lived and sold his wares was, for some reason, named Ĕr Duŏ Yăn (“earhole”). Why? I don't know. Anyway, over time, as his sweet fried rice cakes became more and more well-loved in the city, they were identified with Mr. Liu and his earhole alley, which is how they became known as ĕr duŏ yăn zhá gāo: earhole fried rice cakes.


The non-orifice part of the name (i.e. "fried rice cake") gives you a pretty good idea of what you’re getting into here. A blob of yellow rice and glutinous rice dough about the size of a persimmon is stuffed with a mixture of red bean paste and brown sugar and then fried. What you end up with is a ball with a thin, crispy, blistered skin and a gooey, squishy, sweet interior. It is a delightful treat for the senses, particularly if you are a normal person who likes sweet and fried foods. A food that I have used the words “earhole” and “blistered” to describe might not sound very appetizing, but you’ll have to trust me—this one is a winner.

3 comments:

NANCAY WANG said...

This looks so delicious I'm not even joking, the earwax thing puts me off obviously cos now I'm just thinking it looks like fried earwax but TBH IT DOESN'T PUT ME OFF MUCH. I LOVE food with crispy outsides and soft insides, especially if they're two contrasting flavours as well. I love fried dough with red bean inside - salty and sweet are my favourite flavour combination because I love to mix it up omfg

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